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Act 1, 1897 (I) (Class 1) – Anent Procedure in Vacancies. 1st June 1897.

The General Assembly, with consent of a majority of Presbyteries enact and ordain as follows :—

1. When a Presbytery has sustained a Call to a Minister of a Free Church Congregation within Scotland, the Presbytery Clerk shall forthwith send intimation of the fact to the Clerk of the Presbytery to which the Minister belongs, who shall forward said intimation to the Minister, and also to the Clerk of his Kirk-Session ; and this intimation shall be sufficient warrant for the Session taking steps to have the Office-bearers and Congregation represented at the first meeting of Presbytery at which the Call is laid on the table, so that it may, if desired, be finally disposed of at that Meeting.

2. At the same meeting at which a Minister accepts a Call, Presbyteries may, if they see cause, appoint an Interim Moderator of Session, who shall be associated with the Minister until his translation, with a view to acting in all matters connected with approaching vacancy, and shall subsequently take full charge as usual.

3. If this procedure be adopted, a Congregational Meeting shall be called as soon as possible after a Minister has  accepted a Call, at which the Interim Moderator shall preside, for the purpose of electing a Congregational Committee, and taking the usual initial steps towards choosing a Minister; but no election of a Minister shall take place until after the outgoing Minister is translated, and the vacancy declared in the usual way.

4. By arrangement with the outgoing Minister, the Congregation may then proceed at once to hear candidates, under the ordinary regulations.

The  provision is of Act  IV, 1859, in so far as they are inconsistent with the foregoing Regulations, are hereby repealed.